Photo: Jeff Brown/SYM

Nilaya out in front

Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta and Rendezvous sets sail in Virgin Gorda

Thursday March 20th 2014, Author: Jill Campbell, Location: Virgin Islands

The first day of the Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta & Rendezvous brought a round the island race for the 20 superyachts competing in the three day event. A fresh southeasterly breeze of approximately 12 knots, some of the world's most beautiful sailing yachts crewed by the world's top sailors and a backdrop of sparkling turquoise seas dotted by the islands and islets of the archipelago of the BVI combined to produce a fantastic inaugural race.

The fourth edition of the event, organised by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda and Boat International Media, is takes place out of the YCCS Virgin Gorda over 19-22 March.

The 34m Reichel-Pugh designed Nilaya claimed victory in Division A ahead of Leopard by Robertissima and the 33.4m Vitters-built Inoui respectively.

Vasco Vascotto, tactician on board Leopard, chartered for this event by Roberto Tomasini Grinover, who was unable to race today due to a fever, was pleased with the team's first competitive outing on the record-breaking yacht: "We were curious to see how the super maxi would perform in this first race of the event and it was a great race in spectacular conditions. The course around the island was interesting in terms of strategy, which sails to use. We are satisfied with the second place we got today, we did good clean manoeuvres and we didn't take any chances. We hope that tomorrow we will have the owner back on board and that we'll improve wherever possible on today's performance."

All three of the top spots in the seven-boat Division B were taken by Nautor's Swan yachts. The 27m Freya, launched in late 2012 and competing for the second time in this regatta, claimed victory in corrected time ahead of the 25m sloop Alpina. The Frers-designed Selene, winner of the Rolex Swan Cup Caribbean at YCCS Virgin Gorda in 2013, took third place.

The newly launched, J-Class inspired Tempus Fugit - in her first competitive performance - took first place in Division C by just under two minutes in corrected time. The Dubois-penned yachts Sarafin and the 2013-launched Moonbird took the respective runner-up slots.

Erbil Arkin, at the helm of Tempus Fugit, a Humphreys design with classic lines, was happy with the yacht's inaugural competitive performance: "We're over the moon. I'm loving being here. I just crossed the ocean, my first ocean crossing, a bucket list thing, to come and race here so for me it's absolutely great, it's marvellous - I am where I want to be, let's just say that! Loving it. Great boat and a great designer! The plan for tomorrow is just to keep it going as we have with the enthusiasm that we have."

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